The Warner Archive continues its impressive release schedule by releasing Born to Be Bad, a 1950 Nicholas Ray film about a naughty girl wrecking homes and destroying lives. As the site describes it,
Joan Fontaine plays Christabel Caine, the anti-heroine who has the face of an angel and the heart of a savage. King of Noir Robert Ryan plays the rough-hewn writer who is good enough to share her bed, but not her hand, while Zachary Scott plays the aviator millionaire too much the naïf to escape his fate. Joan Leslie and Mel Ferrer deliver standout performances as the bystanders, one victim, one ambivalent witness, to the wreckage Christabel leaves behind.
Christabel steals the millionaire from her cousin while loving and sleeping with Ryan’s character — who knows how truly horrible she is. He’s a writer, though, and not rich enough for her. Although black and white, the sets and costumes make for impressive visuals.
The film has been remastered for this release, plus it’s got a stunning bonus — a never-before-seen alternate ending. There were apparently debates between the director and the studio, then run by Howard Hughes, and the director’s original choice was only recently discovered. I’ve seen the movie a few times, and it’s always enjoyable melodrama. I can’t wait to see the new conclusion! Learn more about this release on the Warner Archive podcast.